Isn’t it hard to believe another year has come and gone? Time waits for no man, and very few women, my father would say. Like the New Year, the wise men came after Christmas. They’re not really part of the nativity set. Scholars believe the magi were Gentiles who had come from the east and that it’s possible perhaps that at least one of them was a Canadian and probably a Mennonite. You see, the others brought gold and frankincense, but the Mennonite brought myrrh, which if you know your Greek, is a hot dish—a casserole. Since the wise men offered their gifts a little late, I will too. So I’d like to offer you three simple gifts today.
The first is a watch. A watch reminds us of how quickly time passes. When I turned 35, my son told me I was half dead. So let a watch remind us of how short our lives are. Last year is a memory. Let’s wind the watch up and set it right. We will have the same amount of time this year, if God allows. A watch reminds us that time ticks slowly. So relax. Even ants have time to attend picnics. This year let’s follow the example of Jesus who changed the course of history and still had time to hold a child on his knee.
The second gift is a box of chocolates. Chocolate reminds us that some things are too good not to share. Like the good news of Jesus Christ. Several years ago I sat on a plane with a psychologist who diagnosed me as a Christian in no time. He said, “I’ve had bad experiences with Christians.” I said, “Really? Me too.” That simple comment led to a four hour discussion of my faith. Let’s tell others about our Saviour this year.
My final gift to you is a Bible. As I was walking through a mall recently, I saw a fortuneteller. People were lined up to learn about their future from a lady who looked more dazed and confused than any of them. The Bible is packed with promises, guidance, and all the direction you will need for this new year. It will only take 7 or 8 minutes a day to read it through in 2006. So let’s get started.
Last January I had no idea that three family members would spend their first Christmas in heaven. What a comfort God’s Word has been. I cling to verses like Deuteronomy 31:8. It says this: “The LORD himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.”
I hope you accept these three gifts this year. Learn to hang out with those who are gonna cry at your funeral. Spread God’s grace around. And laugh lots, that way when you grow old all your wrinkles will be in the right places.
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